India’s Flipkart begins customer lending in bid to boost sales

Flipkart has begun lending to customers, expanding its financing offerings in a move that could potentially boost sales even as its chief rival Amazon has signalled a slowdown in India.

The Walmart-owned Bengaluru-headquartered firm, in partnership with lender Axis Bank, is extending a credit of up to 500,000 Indian rupees, or $6,100, according to a description on its app.

The loan, requiring no document submission and boasting a 30-second approval time, promises customers a seamless borrowing experience, the app says. The service was first spotted by Indian news outlet the Arc. Flipkart declined to comment.

By introducing personal loans, Flipkart expands its financial services portfolio, which already includes a ‘buy now, pay later’ option and a co-branded credit card.

E-commerce giants, that have partnered with Bajaj Finance and other lenders like banks over the years, have long realized that a broader financing option is required to address the customer’s frugality and credit aversion in India.

A financing option reduces immediate burden, thereby promoting higher transaction volumes and bolstering customer loyalty. By empowering consumers to make big-ticket purchases and stagger payments, these services boost spending, driving significant revenue growth.

Flipkart’s deeper dive into financial services is noteworthy, as it encroaches on even more of the territory held by PhonePe, a former subsidiary. After their separation last year, competition between the two has intensified. PhonePe made its entry into e-commerce earlier this year.

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